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Why Liberal Groups Like PETA Lie

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:01
You wont find anyone who loves animals more than I do.

US Has Leverage in Dealings With Iran, North Korea

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 19:01
There has been a lot of misinformation about both getting out of the so-called Iran deal and getting into a new North Korean agreement.

California Sen. Feinstein drops death penalty support amid primary challenge

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 18:00
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Wednesday that she no longer supports the death penalty, a reversal of nearly three decades of public statements that comes amid a primary challenge from the left wing of the Democratic party.

Jared Kushner receives full security clearance

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 16:30
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner recently obtained a full security clearance, Fox News has learned, months after his interim security clearance was downgraded amid new rules issued by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Fox News Power Rankings: Dem divides emerge

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 16:01
And other ranking shifts.

Do Trump's plans for Title X implement a 'gag rule'? A look at the proposal

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 15:15
The Trump administration has moved to change how taxpayer funds go towards family planning organizations, especially those that provide or encourage patients to have abortions.

Jared Kushner has full security clearance restored

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 14:39
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner recently regained a full security clearance, Fox News has learned, more than a month after it was downgraded following new rules issued by President Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Clinton backs Cuomo, tries to rally embattled NY Dems at convention

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 14:37
Hillary Clinton on Wednesday formally backed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial race, as she tried to unite scandal-scarred Democrats at their state convention.

The Doomsday Scenario: What If School Walkouts Don't Work?

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 14:35
The New York Times seemed to think it was bitterly ironic that some of the students at Santa Fe High School, site of the recent mass shooting, had staged a walkout last month in support of the Parkland, Florida, students.

Grassley rips Strzok-Page redactions amid mystery text: Obama 'White House is running this'

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:45
A top Senate Republican is challenging the Justice Department over extensive redactions made in files showing text messages between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

Trump blasts 'ruthless' MS-13 in Long Island visit, dings Pelosi for 'trying to defend' gang

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:45
President Trump on Wednesday tore into the “ruthless” MS-13 gang, doubling down on remarks calling its members “animals” and dinging House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi for “trying to defend” them.

How NFL national anthem protests have evolved since Kaepernick

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 13:00
Take a look back at the NFL national anthem protests to see how they grew from a one-man protest to a national movement.

Trump summons staff to vent frustration over 'leaks,' tells aides to find culprits

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:26
President Trump recently held an Oval Office meeting with top communications aides to voice his frustration over the many “leaks” coming out of the White House, calling for the culprits to be identified and changes made to the communications shop, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the meeting.

Obama center foes decry ‘rubber-stamping’ as Chicago council OKs project

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:24
The planned Obama Presidential Center won almost-unanimous approval Wednesday from Chicago’s City Council, despite significant resistance and protests from opponents -- who accused the council of “rubber-stamping” the complex.

Georgia governor primary leaves Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp vying for GOP nomination

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:15
Republican Georgia gubernatorial candidates Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp are heading to a July runoff election after Tuesday’s primary.

Georgia governor hopeful Stacey Abrams could become first black, female state leader: Who is she?

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 12:00
Atlanta lawyer Stacey Abrams is one step closer to making history.

Let the Farm Bill Stay Dead

Cato Recent Op Eds - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 11:34

Michael D. Tanner

On Friday, as the Republican-controlled House of Representatives continued its descent into chaos and irrelevance, the farm bill went down to defeat amidst dueling immigration proposals. Yet while this latest snafu makes the Republicans look feckless once again, they should probably be thankful that they have been saved from this legislative dog’s breakfast.

All farm bills are bad, pure creatures of the D.C. swamp, regardless of which party is in power, but Republicans appear to have worked overtime to make certain that this one confirmed the party’s worst stereotypes.

Unsurprisingly, the bill cuts food stamps. There is a strong argument for this. The food-stamp program has expanded enormously in recent years, essentially doubling under President Bush and doubling again under President Obama. Despite the economic recovery, the program shows no signs of returning to pre-recession levels.

Welfare for farmers is every bit as destructive as welfare for poor people - and even less justifiable.

But Republicans somehow managed to cut benefits for recipients without actually reducing spending on the program. The bill would trim benefits by roughly $9.2 billion over ten years (for a program that will cost around $650 billion over that period). But it would increase administrative costs by $7.7 billion over the same period, and when other new costs are included, the program would cost an additional $500 million. That’s not a lot of money by Washington standards, of course, but less money for poor people, more money for bureaucracy is not the best message.

Republicans also strengthened the program’s work requirements, actually something of a return to pre-recession work mandates. This too is entirely defensible, given the ongoing decline in unemployment and the increasing shift of the program from temporary to long-term participation. But the Republicans combined the requirement with a massive increase in funding for a job-training program whose effectiveness was last evaluated more than 20 years ago, when the Department of Agriculture found no evidence that it helped recipients find jobs. (That’s one driver of the new costs mentioned above.)

While getting tough on food-stamp recipients, Republicans simultaneously opened the floodgates for corporate welfare. As usual, the big winners are corn, wheat, soybean, cotton, rice, and peanut farmers, who receive more than 90 percent of subsidies. And though farm subsidies are often sold through nostalgia for hardscrabble family farmers, the reality is that this bill is welfare for corporate agriculture. According to a 2017 report of the Congressional Research Service, “farms with market revenue equal to or greater than $250,000 accounted for 12 percent of farm households, but received 60 percent of federal farm program payments.” Maybe that’s why just 600 companies spent half a billion dollars lobbying for the bill.

There are new welfare queens as well, including sheep farmers, who will see their subsidies restored after they were stripped out of the last farm bill. The bill also restored subsidies for “natural stone” (yes, rocks) exporters. There’s a special piece of the pie for everyone from dairy farmers to rural broadband providers.

Nor would any farm bill be complete without a variety of measures designed to protect the U.S. sugar industry from competition. Those benefits help drive up U.S. sugar prices to double those of the rest of the world.

And to cap it all off, the bill actually expands a provision that makes it possible for cousins, nieces, and nephews of farm owners — who are not actively engaged in farming and who may not even live on a farm — to qualify for commodity subsidies.

Somehow Republicans still haven’t figured out that welfare for farmers is every bit as destructive as welfare for poor people — and even less justifiable.

The Republican leadership will eventually find a way to deal with the immigration rebellion (or rebellions) that killed this bill. At that point, we can expect the farm bill to return to the floor. Republicans would be far better advised to let it stay dead.

Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis.

Manafort attempts to suppress evidence seized during FBI raid

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:39
President Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort is attempting to persuade a federal judge to suppress evidence seized by FBI agents during raids on Manafort’s properties.

Why the #MeToo Miss USA Pageant Worked So Well

TownHall Latest columns - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 10:30
I wasn't a pageant girl. I never competed in a pageant, and I didn't grow up with anyone who did.

Trump warns Comey over looming IG report on Clinton case: 'A lot of problems'

Fox News (Politics) - Wed, 05/23/2018 - 09:44
President Trump issued a thiny veiled warning to James Comey on Wednesday as he suggested a forthcoming inspector general report will cause new problems for the fired FBI director.

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